Monthly Archives: December 2010
>USSR2 File: Belarusian dictator “wins” 4th term as president, police clash with 20,000 protesters in Minsk, Medvedev shrugs off fraudulent victory
December 22, 2010Posted by on
>– East-West Converge (on Communist Terms): President Lukashenko Invites European Union to Merge with New Moscow-Dominated Customs Union, Create Eurasian Customs Union
Blogger’s Note: We begin our Christmas vacation on December 23. Hence, we expect this will be our last post until the New Year.
Pictured above: Police disperse a group of anti-Lukashenko protesters holding a picket in central Minsk, on Monday, December 20, 2010. The banner reads “Go out!”
On Monday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev shrugged off the results of the presidential election in Belarus as an “internal matter” and would not comment on a violent police crackdown that followed the vote on Sunday. Medvedev carefully avoided praise or criticism of President Alexander Lukashenko, who the state election commission declared won a fourth term on the basis of nearly 80 percent of the vote. Medvedev said:
Elections in Belarus are Belarus’s internal matter. What is happening there is, in the final analysis, the internal matter of a neighboring state. I hope that as a result of these elections, Belarus will continue on the path of creating a modern state based on democracy and friendship with its neighbors. For us, Belarus, regardless of who heads the country, will always be one of the closest states.
On Sunday, authorities arrested seven of nine opposition candidates, some of them when riot police clashed with 20,000 demonstrators, who were protesting alleged vote fraud outside the main government building in Minsk. Two of the opposition candidates, Grigory Kostusyev and Dmitry Uss, were released on Monday. According to the AP news agency, “international observers say the count was seriously flawed.” “The KGB [Belarusian secret police] has thoroughly infiltrated the opposition,” the EU Observer quoted an anonymous European Union diplomatic contact as saying.
Lukashenko, like many other older leaders in the Not-So-Former USSR, including Vladimir Putin, is an “ex”-cadre of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Prior to the December 19 poll, the Communist Party of Belarus openly endorsed Lukashenko’s candidacy. Lukashenko is also a close personal friend of Gennady Zyuganov, chairman of the (secretly ruling) Communist Party of the Russian Federation. Zyuganov has visited Minsk on a number of occasions since the “collapse” of the Soviet Union. For his part, a youthful Medvedev joined the CPSU in the 1980s, so his indifference to Lukashenko’s heavy hand is not surprising.
By contrast, a number of US senators expressed dismay at the post-election police crackdown in Belarus, warning Lukashenko that his oppressive regime will “pay a very price.” “Having pursued engagement with Belarus in recent months, the United States and our allies should now consider a tougher approach,” Senators John Kerry, John McCain, and Joe Lieberman said in a joint statement. Tellingly, the US government will not impose serious sanctions on the Russian Federation, which is also guilty of suppressing public dissent, but instead enters negotiations with the Moscow Leninists to reduce the US nuclear stockpile.
Medvedev’s cautious remarks came after mounting tension between Moscow and Minsk earlier this year prompted speculation that Russia might undermine Lukashenko’s 16-year stint as Belarusian president. However, the Kremlin eased tensions just before the vote by agreeing to remove duties on oil exports to Belarus, thereby giving Lukashenko a boost. The two “former” Soviet republics are politically, economically, and militarily joined at the hip through the Union State of Russia and Belarus, Commonwealth of Independent States, Collective Security Treaty Organization, and the new Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
For the most part, Comrade Lukashenko has proven to be a reliable vassal of the Soviet strategists, as was seen on December 9 when the presidents of Customs Union states met in Moscow to discuss details of the Single Economic Space (SES). On December 20, Yury Solozobov wrote for Russia Beyond the Headlines:
Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, with a combined population of 170 million, account for almost 83 percent of the former Soviet Union’s economic potential. The three countries’ combined GDP is equivalent to $2 trillion and the value of their aggregate trade is $900 billion.
The Russian Academy of Sciences predicts that household incomes in the three countries will increase by 40 percent when the SES is “up and running” on January 1, 2012.
At the December 9 summit, Kazakhstan’s president, “ex”-communist Nursultan Nazarbayev, enthused: “The establishment of the Customs Union is the second stage of the integration process. The first is a free trade area. The third is a common market, a common economic space, to be followed by an economic union according to the European model, but without losing sovereignty.” With typical communist bombast, Lukashenko chimed in: “If the European Union or any EU member state wants to join our Union, we will at least look into their application.”
A summit document articulated the long-range objective of the SES: “By developing the Single Economic Space, we are moving toward the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union.” Such an entity as the Eurasian Economic Union would certainly revive Vladimir Lenin’s dream of a “World Soviet Republic.”
>Mexican Narco-State File: Pemex pipeline blast kills 28 in Puebla, Congress revokes immunity of PRD deputy, Guatemala declares state of siege
December 21, 2010Posted by on
>– WikiLeak Revelations: President Calderon’s Fears Regarding Iranian-Venezuelan-Drug Cartel Nexus Bolster Media Reports of Plans to Launch Missiles against USA
– Organized Crime Launders an Estimated US$40 Billion through Mexican Banks, New Laws to Clamp Down on Illicit Financial Activity Stalled in Mexican Senate
On Sunday, December 19, at least 28 people were reported killed in a Pemex oil pipeline explosion in central Mexico. The blast hit San Martin Texmelucan before dawn, destroying homes and vehicles, and sending streams of flaming crude through the city’s streets (damage shown in photo above). Up to 13 of the fatalities appear to have been children. Authorities suspect a criminal gang was tampering with the 30-inch diameter pipeline in an effort to steal crude when the blast occurred.
The attempt to steal fuel from Pemex in Puebla state is part of a broader crime wave against the state-run oil giant, which in 2008 involved the theft of five million barrels of oil worth US$750 million. “It’s not an isolated incident. It’s part of the constant problem we’re living every day,” remarked David Shields, publisher of the Mexico City-based Energia magazine.
Last week, the lower house of Mexico’s congress, the Chamber of Deputies, voted to revoke the political immunity of a federal politician allegedly linked to La Familia drug cartel, paving the way for his prosecution. Julio Cesar Godoy, who is a member of the center-left Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), faces a federal arrest warrant in his home state of Michoacan. All Mexican legislators are immune from criminal prosecution unless the lower house of congress removes their immunity by vote. Legislators, including his own party, voted 384-2 to withdraw Godoy’s protection.
Alejandro Encinas, who leads the PRD faction in congress’s lower house, hastened to distance the party from Godoy: “I want to make it clear that we are completely disconnected from any criminal activity and organized crime. The country needs transparency and coherence from those who are in public office.” The PRD originated in 1989 through a merger of several leftist parties, including the Mexican Communist Party, as well as left-wing members of the formerly long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which beginning in the 1980s moved to the political center.
The Attorney General’s Office supplied lawmakers with a recording in which a voice, presumed to be Godoy’s, converses with Servando “La Tuta” Gomez Martinez, an alleged boss of La Familia. Godoy was sworn into Congress in September in spite of an arrest warrant against him. He is the stepbrother of Michoacan’s governor. The same month, Godoy insisted upon his innocence during a news conference and denied any ties to drug gangs. Godoy can return as a deputy to Mexico’s congress if exonerated of the charges.
Last week, authorities in Michoacan killed cartel boss Nazario Moreno Gonzalez during a gun battle that also killed five policemen, three civilians, and three gang members. The US government has referred to La Familia as “one of Mexico’s newest and most violent drug cartels.” The cartel specializes in the methamphetamine trade. In true Robin Hood fashion, it also publicly identifies with “the people” vis-à-vis the government, offering consumer loans with low interest rates.
In August, President Felipe Calderon proposed new laws to unify Mexico’s poorly equipped and hopelessly corrupt municipal police forces under state-level commands, as well as hinder the cartels from laundering up to US$40 billion per year through Mexican banks. However, he is encountering opposition from the PRI, PRD, and colleagues in his own National Action Party (PAN). “The president introduced this initiative with a lot of force but it got stuck in the Senate,” Jose Trejo, a PAN senator who heads the body’s finance committee. “If it passes, it will only be with various changes. It will be complicated in this session.”
A US diplomatic cable, published by WikiLeaks, contains a conversation between Calderon and US National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair, in which the Mexican president alleges that Venezuela’s communist dictator, Hugo Chavez, financed the 2006 presidential campaign of his pro-Cuba rival, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. According to the October 2009 cable, Calderon contends that Chavez uses social programs, including sending medical doctors to Mexico (much as Cuba does worldwide), to gain political influence in the country. Calderon insisted that Latin America “needs a visible US presence” to counter Chavez’s revolutionary influence throughout the hemisphere.
Calderon also fretted about Venezuela’s alliance with Iran, the influence of the “very politically active” Iranian embassy in Mexico City, and a possible covert alliance between Iran, Venezuela, and the drug cartels. Along the same theme, Die Welt recently reported that Iran and Venezuela have negotiated a secret pact to set up a medium-range missile base in the South American country, capable of striking the USA. In November, the China Confidential blog, citing unnamed Western intelligence sources, alleged that Iran and Venezuela intend to use northern Mexico as a platform to launch “ballistic missile attacks,” “Mumbai-style swarming assaults,” and biowarfare against the USA.
The US diplomatic cable also relates Calderon’s attempts to “isolate” Venezuela in the Rio Group and his disappointment with former Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who did virtually nothing to restrain the exportation of Chavez’s “Bolivarian Revolution.” Incidentally, Brazil’s new president, Dilma Rousseff, is an “ex”-guerrilla who enjoys Chavez’s open endorsement. Since the center-right PAN took power in 2000, diplomatic relations between Mexico and Venezuela have been “tense.”
In a December 2, 2010 Twitter posting, Obrador, who does not recognize the legitimacy of Calderon’s presidency and intends to run for office again in 2012, demanded that Calderon present proof that he is in Chavez’s backpocket. Obrador stepped down from the leadership of the PRD in 2008 and is now running on a smaller center-left ticket.
Over the last three weeks, Mexico’s drug war claimed more lives and terrified more citizens caught in the cross-fire between rival cartels and between the narcistas, in the one camp, and the army troops and federal police opposing them.
On Monday, December 6, two gunmen burst into a kindergarten in Ciudad Juarez, the mafia-controlled city across the border from El Paso, Texas, and set fire to the school. No one was killed or injured. Police say the would-be extortionists left a message saying the school had not paid a protection fee, which they had demanded from teachers at least three weeks ago. Classes in the school have been suspended and parents have said they will pull their children out of school until safety improves. (No kidding.)
On December 5, “armed commandos” attacked two drug rehabilitation centers in Ciudad Juarez, killing four people and wounding five. Three were killed in one center and one was killed in another. Over the last two years, narcistas have killed dozens of patients at rehabs across Mexico, including nine last summer in Durango and 19 in Chihuahua City, capital of the border state in which Ciudad Juarez is located. In October, gunmen mowed down 14 people at a Tijuana rehab. In some cases, cartels actually run rehabs to recruit addicts, exposing patients to attacks from rival gangs.
On the same day, on Mexico’s Pacific coast, nine bodies were found in Acapulco and nearby neighborhoods. Eight of the men, who ranged in age from 25 to 50, were shot, but one victim’s body was burned. On December 4, police found two headless bodies hanging from a freeway overpass in the resort city, a common tactic used by cartels to scare rivals. Authorities say the battle for control of the fractured Beltran Leyva cartel is responsible for the rising violence in the famous tourist destination.
On December 3, the Mexican army announced that it had arrested a 14-year-old boy on suspicion of being a hired killer for the South Pacific cartel. Officials said US-born Edgar Jimenez, nicknamed El Ponchis (“The Cloak”), was apprehended as he boarded a US-bound plane in Cuernavaca with his two sisters. The military alleges that the teen assassin took part in a number of beheadings under the influence of drugs supplied by the cartel. The army source said one of Edgar’s sisters was accused of disposing of the bodies. The Reforma newspaper quoted Jimenez as saying: “I felt bad doing it. I was forced to do it. They said they would kill me if I didn’t do it. I only beheaded them, but never hung [bodies] from bridges, never.”
Lastly, Reuters reports that some 5,000 businesses based in the northern states have fled to the relative safety of the Mexican capital, once known for its high crime rates and kidnappings. “Ten years ago everyone wanted to leave Mexico City because of the crime, no one would have believed it would become one of the safest places in the country,” said Eduardo Gallo, head of the citizens group Mexicans United Against Crime.
Mexico City authorities have staved off the worst cartel violence by installing thousands of surveillance cameras to monitor city streets and subways. Near the city’s central square, at one of several new command centers, more than 100 police scan 24-hour video feeds designed to track criminals. However, report Mica Rosenberg and Anahi Rama, “even as the sprawling metropolis of 20 million people escapes the grizzliest drug murders and daytime shootouts, traffickers are moving into the city’s outskirts and threatening to encroach on the capital’s relative calm.”
Over the past 12 months, the Mexican government has scored a number of victories against the cartels, killing or arresting several powerful crime bosses. To protect their operations, the country’s mafias have branched out internationally.
On December 15, reports the Washington Post, agents of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and police from the District of Columbia’s Narcotics and Special Investigations Division arrested eight men with ties to La Familia who had set up shop in America’s capital. Authorities also seized millions of dollars worth of methamphetamine as part of the investigation. In a raid near Atlanta, police confiscated an estimated US$5 million worth of crystal meth. Other, coordinated raids took place in Temple Hills, Maryland, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Mexico’s drug war has also spilled into Guatemala’s border province Alta Verapaz, where Los Zetas–which was founded in the 1990s after a group of Mexican special forces officers joined the Gulf cartel–have reportedly established training camps. On Sunday, President Alvaro Colom declared a state of siege in Alta Verapaz, empowering the Guatemalan military to detain suspects without warrants, confiscate weapons, and shut down groups viewed as subversive. The province’s El Petén jungles have a well-established reputation for lawlessness.
The Guatemalan army, which waged a counter-insurgency operation against communist guerrillas in the 1980s, has a documented history of involvement with organized crime. Past corruption, therefore, may be a hurdle as the army tries to combat drug traffickers from Mexico. “Military officers are easily bought off and so are the police. We have a state where impunity is the order of the day,” comments Anita Isaacs, a political scientist who studies Guatemala at Haverford College, near Philadelphia.
>Bolivarian Revolution File: "Militarization of ALBA states" proceeds apace as Venezuela’s ruling socialist party awards decree powers to Chavez
December 17, 2010Posted by on
>The red regimes in Managua and Caracas, no doubt taking queues from their masters in Havana, are preparing to rule by decree and martial law ahead of hotly contested elections in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez has ruled by decree on three occasions since democratically taking office in 1999, while Nicaragua’s past/present communist dictator Daniel Ortega imposed a state of emergency between 1982 and 1988, when Central America was in the grip of the Cold War.
Pictured above: On December 15, 2010, in Caracas supporters of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez beat oppositionists with sticks during a demonstration near the National Assembly, where the governing party and its allies passed laws allowing the president to rule by decree.
This past Monday, the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front exploited its “El Pacto” alliance with the so-called opposition Constitutionalist Liberal Party to ratify three national defense bills that will once again place Nicaragua under a military government, establish a KGB-style internal security apparatus, and confiscate property in the name of national security. Intriguingly, without offering details of the meeting’s agenda, Cuba’s foreign minister, fresh from encouraging the FMLN regime in San Salvador, popped in for a visit with Ortega last week.
Last week, too, Victor Boitano, a former Sandinista and ex-colonel, asserted that the re-communization of Nicaragua is part of a wider conspiracy of Red Axis regimes in Latin America: “These laws are being imported from Cuba and Venezuela as part of a new plan to militarize the countries of ALBA [Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas]. The defense bill package is an attempt by Ortega to democratically impose a military boot upon Nicaragua’s democracy and force the population to participate in the revolution.” Ominously, he added: “This is a terrible, terrible militarization of the society in an undercover way; Nicaragua’s past is returning.”
In light of this past Tuesday’s vote in the Venezuelan National Assembly, Boitano’s contention has proven correct. The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) ratified President Chavez’s request to rule by decree for one year, beginning on January 5, 2011. On state television this week, Chavez insisted he needs the powers to cope with a national emergency caused by floods that have killed 40 and left 130,000 people homeless. In his usual overheated bombast, he responded to his critics by saying that they need to “take Valium” or “see a psychiatrist.” Jesus Faria, a spokesman for the PSUV, said dismissively: “The advance of the revolution brings with it conflict.” Tal Cual, the country’s main opposition newspaper, dubbed Chavez’s renewed rule-by-decree powers “a totalitarian ambush … a Christmas ambush.”
The PSUV-dominated National Assembly is taking advantage of the last days of the current legislative session to implement a new package of laws that will allow the government to shut down anti-government websites and impose a sales tax increase to pay for damage caused by the floods. It also named nine new Supreme Court judges, even though current terms have not expired, thereby precluding the need to negotiate the selection of such high-ranking officials with the opposition.
Venezuela’s opposition, lately emboldened by the acquisition of new seats in the National Assembly in September, admits their influence next year will be limited by the president’s decree powers, and by the fact that as a minority they cannot introduce counter-legislation. More importantly, looking ahead to 2012, the opposition coalition lacks a common leader or platform, other than simply opposing the Cubanization of Venezuela. In 2010 alone, the Chavezista regime nationalized more than 200 businesses, including foreign-owned companies.
>WW4 File: South Koreans stage country’s largest-ever mass evacuation drill, prepare for possible attacks by North Korea
December 16, 2010Posted by on
>Pictured here: Obeying a government-organized air raid drill, motorists in Seoul abandon their vehicles near Hannam Bridge, don gas masks, and flee to emergency shelters, on Wednesday, December 15, 2010.
– North Korea vows “stronger retaliation,” deadlier than November 23 artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island, if South proceeds with live-fire drills in the Yellow Sea. (source)
– Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, warns SK live-fire drills, beginning December 18, could spark “uncontrollable clash” with North. (source)
– Gen. Burwell B. Bell III, commander of US forces in the Republic of Korea between 2006 and 2008, stated in a recent interview: “The situation is near a point where South Korea is going to strike out at North Korea, where we could see an uncontrolled escalation.” (source)
– On Wednesday, reports the AP, “South Koreans stopped their cars, donned gas masks and ducked into underground shelters today in the country’s biggest-ever evacuation drill — a government attempt to prepare traditionally indifferent citizens for possible new attacks by North Korea.” (source)
– New Mexico’s Governor Bill Richardson, on his way to visit NK, was scheduled to stop in Beijing on Thursday. Richardson, reports the source above, “has often acted as a diplomatic troubleshooter and has made regular visits to North Korea.”
>Neo-Sandinista File: FSLN re-imposes 1980s dictatorship as National Assembly ratifies martial law, Ortega relies on sordid “El Pacto” with Aleman
December 14, 2010Posted by on
– Nicaraguan Constitutional Experts: Ortega Intends to Declare State of Emergency, Invoke New Laws ahead of November 2011 Elections
– Retired Nicaraguan Army Colonel: Martial Law Package Part of Wider Red Axis Plot to “Militarize” ALBA States
– Ortega Now Possesses “Legal” Mechanism to Revive Cold War-Era Internal Security Apparatus, Suppress Opposition to Revived Russian Presence in Nicaragua
– Sandinistas’ New Military Government Opens Door to Cooperation between Office of Defense Intelligence, Cuba’s Intelligence Directorate, and Venezuela’s Bolivarian Intelligence Service
Pictured above: Anti-government protesters outside Nicaragua’s National Assembly on December 13, 2010.
Nicaragua’s post-civil war democracy died on Monday, December 13, 2010, as we long suspected would happen when Daniel Ortega was re-elected in 2006, after he stewed on the political backburner for 16 years. The MSM has rightly exposed President Ortega’s long-standing alliances with the USA’s most implacable enemies, such as Russia, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Libya, not to mention his new-found and most lucrative partnership with Communist Venezuela. However, it has devoted less time to exposing the re-communization of this Central American country. Only a few English-language news sources like Inside Costa Rica and Tico Times/Nica News, are closely monitoring the demise of Nicaragua’s fledgling democracy.
Originally slated for a parliamentary vote on December 6, a defense bill package sent to the National Assembly by President Ortega for rush approval was postponed until this past Monday. On December 13, the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front secured the consent of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC) in passing the bills, which effectively re-establish a communist dictatorship in Nicaragua. With the support of 70 of 91 deputies, the Sandinistas rammed the three bills—the National Defense Law, the National Security Law, and the Border Law—through parliament in less than 10 days, before the year-end recess, avoiding a legislative process that normally takes months.
The role of the PLC as a true opposition party is questionable ever since former president Arnoldo Aleman, who is widely recognized as one of the world’s most corrupt politicians, formed “El Pacto” with Ortega in 1999. Government critics suspect that, in return for ratifying Ortega’s bills, the PLC will be awarded seats on the Supreme Court and Electoral Commission next year.
In any event, Sandinista lawmakers chortled over their victory, which will probably lead to a declaration of a state of emergency before the November 2011 elections. Deputy Edwin Castro gloated: “Nicaragua is the real winner here. We have achieved laws that, contrary to what people are saying, have been discussed amply.” Journalist Tim Rogers, writing for Tico Times, expounds:
The three laws will empower the military’s role in administering the state, create a new intelligence-gathering network and possibly leave the door open for forced military recruitment in times of ‘emergency’ . . . The laws themselves form only the skeleton of the state’s new defense and security policies. The ‘meat’ will come next year, when Ortega passes the ‘reglamentos’ or presidential interpretations of how the laws will be enacted.
Earlier this month, in an address to the top military command, Ortega, who is constitutionally forbidden to contest the next elections, went so far as to label those who oppose his bills “traitors” to the nation.
Specifically, warns lawyer Victor Boitano, Nicaragua’s new military government provides “Comandante” Ortega with the legal mechanisms needed to employ Sandinista paramilitary groups and a revived state security apparatus to repress and spy on the opposition in the name of national security. In addition to practicing law, Boitano is a former Nicaraguan military colonel who graduated from a Cuban military academy in the 1980s. He resigned from the army in 2007. Boitano elaborates:
These laws are being imported from Cuba and Venezuela as part of a new plan to militarize the countries of ALBA [Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas]. The defense bill package is an attempt by Ortega to democratically impose a military boot upon Nicaragua’s democracy and force the population to participate in the revolution.
If the laws are passed and the new system of national security is implemented Ortega would move quickly to arm and mobilize Sandinista groups–the Sandinista Youth and the Councils of Citizen Power–under the pretext that they are “volunteer reservists” organizing to defend national security.
This is a terrible, terrible militarization of the society in an undercover way; Nicaragua’s past is returning.
Gonzalo Carrión, legal director for the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights, warns: “These laws would change the whole dynamic of society from that of an institutional democracy to one that is subordinate to the military.” He adds:
The goal here is to militarize the country at a time when the trend in democratic societies is to demilitarize. The defense package shows that Ortega and the Nicaraguan Army still share an ‘umbilical relationship’ that goes beyond the president’s role as commander-in-chief. Ortega constantly reminds the police and army of their Sandinista roots. The message is that Ortega is more than just the head of state, he’s also the head of the political party and the revolution that gave birth to the army.
Constitutional expert Gabriel Alvarez agrees that Ortega’s military government is designed to subvert the constitution prior to the president’s unlawful re-election bid:
Since Ortega wasn’t able to get the votes he needed in the National Assembly this year to reform the Constitution to allow for his re-election, this package of laws is meant to substitute for the constitutional reforms. If the defense bills pass as is, Ortega will have use of the army and Sandinista-sponsored paramilitary groups to physically enforce the de facto Supreme Court ruling that okayed his re-election last year.
Any protests of his candidacy or demonstrations against next year’s possibly fraudulent elections can then be put down forcefully under the argument that such unrest represents a threat to national stability and democratic order. These laws would institutionalize Ortega’s paranoia and authoritarian style of government. And they would provide a permanent green light to legalize and legitimize the use of paramilitary force. This would institutionalize people’s fear of repression.
The defense-bill package does not represent a political vision based in democracy, rather that of a police state or an authoritarian state. Even the language of the bills, which talks about the need to promote a value-based “culture of defense” and the rights and obligations to defend their democracy and “supreme interests,” sounds “quasi-North Korean.”
Reviewing certain provisions of the three laws offers insight into “Comandante’s” intentions. We have previously looked at the stipulations of Nicaragua’s new Border Law.
The National Defense Law establishes the “right and obligation of Nicaraguan citizens to participate actively and belligerently in national defense.” Article 3 calls for “national mobilizations,” in which “all human, technical and material resources are put at the disposal of national defense in situations of conflict and emergency.” Article 21 calls for the creation of a “reservist force” led by ex-military personnel. Article 25 requires “all media outlets” to “collaborate in the education and divulgation of the values, principles and directives of National Defense with the goal of creating cohesion of the entire Nicaraguan society around the execution of an effective National Defense Policy.”
Article 3 of the National Security Law establishes “permanent, immediate and direct actions to preserve the integrity, stability and permanency of the state of Nicaragua, its institutions, democratic order, rule of law, people and property against any threat, risk or aggression.” Article 8 of the same bill creates a “National Security System,” consisting of “institutions specialized in intelligence and information” and empowered to collect information using “specialized methods of human and technical resources.”
Article 9 calls for the submission of intelligence reports to the president and, with a nod toward the red regimes in Havana and Caracas, the “cooperation and collaboration with intelligence services of friendly countries and international organizations.” Finally, Article 11 states that the army’s Office of Defense Information and the military intelligence network will be subordinate to the “Commander in Chief,” meaning the president of the republic.
It would appear, then, that the Sandinistas’ manufactured border dispute with Costa Rica and their opposition to the US Navy’s presence in Costa Rican waters are pretexts to militarize Nicaraguan society, re-consolidate their 1980s dictatorship, and justify cooperation among Latin America’s Red Axis intelligence agencies.
Nicaragua’s new martial law regime, moreover, will enable Ortega to suppress opposition to a potential revived Russian presence in that country. This dilemma exposed itself in December 2008 when a Russian destroyer appeared off the country’s Caribbean coast, the first time since the Cold War, to deliver “humanitarian aid.” Nicaragua’s opposition, no doubt recalling the baleful presence of Soviet Bloc advisors in Managua in the 1980s, went so far as to brand the Russian Navy’s arrival “unconstitutional” and a “violation of sovereignty.”
Nicaragua may be a small, poor country and its border tiff with Costa Rica a “tempest in a tea cup,” but its refurbished Soviet-built air base at Punta Huete can accommodate Russia’s strategic bombers. These did not materialize during the Cold War, but could conceivably land at Central America’s longest runway at any time in the future. The arrival of two Tu-160 bombers in Venezuela on September 10, 2008, suggests that the Kremlin may try such a provocation in the upcoming months.
>USSR2 File: FSB recruits child informers, Kremlin mulls biggest mass relocation since Stalin, analysts await Putin’s presidential plans for 2012
December 14, 2010Posted by on
Pictured above: On December 11, the head of the Presidential Administration of Belarus, Vladimir Makey, appeared on RTR Belarus TV.
The Russian Federation’s Federal Security Service (FSB), which was hived off the old Soviet KGB, has reverted big time to its old communist-era ways by recruiting schoolchildren in the war on terror with a series of cartoons on how to spy on terrorists and neighbors.
The eight 20-second cartoons, which have been aired on TV and presented in schools and movie theaters, portray a boy outwitting a terrorist and informing on him to the FSB. Other videos show the seven-year-old hero setting up a roadblock around a suspicious package and spying on neighbors to see if they have weapons stashed in their loft and basement. He is finally shown receiving a medal from grateful police chiefs while a man sporting a Muslim-style moustache is led away in handcuffs.
Critics, reports the Croatian Times, claim the cartoons will promote paranoia among children and lead to “Hitler Youth-style” or, rather, Komsomol-style spying by youngsters. Russian intelligence services expert Andrei Soldatov said: “This is complete propaganda and makes people more suspicious and increases the number of unwittingly false calls from frightened children.”
Child psychologist Rais Skrynnikova, who works for the Russian Children’s Fund in Volgograd, added: “The cartoons contain elements of fear and negativity. The denunciations of the KGB are still strong in the memories of communities and these cartoons come into conflict with children’s sense of norms and morality.”
Incidentally, Ivan Melnikov, vice chairman of the (secretly ruling) Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), chairs the State Duma’s education committee so it’s no surprise the FSB has a green light to brainwash and potentially once again turn Russian schoolchildren against their own parents. Last month, Comrade Melnikov feted Cuba’s visiting parliamentary president Ricardo Alarcon.
Meanwhile, according to information leaked to the Vedomosti daily, the Kremlin is planning on packing Russia’s widely scattered 141 million citizens, 90 percent of which lives in towns with less than 100,000 residents, into 20 urban centers. Unlike Joseph Stalin’s genocidal internal deportations, however, when entire nationalities were forced to move at gunpoint on the grounds of being “counter-revolutionaries” or Nazi collaborators, relocating would be optional and encouraged on economic grounds alone.
“Much of rural Russia is dying,” points out the United Kingdom’s Telegraph, “as young people move to towns and cities and entire Soviet-era settlements which were built around just one or two factories are no longer economically viable.”
Russian analysts opined that the plan, which resurrects the Soviet-era idea of urbanizing the entire country, is likely to be heavily promoted by President Dmitry Medvedev as part of his agenda to modernize Russia. With speculation mounting about whether Medvedev or his mentor Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will run for the presidency in March 2012, the Kremlin’s new urbanization plan could be a useful electoral tool for Medvedev.
Last month, Pravoye Delo (Right Cause), a party little known even in Russia, endorsed Medvedev as its presidential candidate, even though the 2012 election campaign has not officially begun. Undaunted, party leaders Leonid Gozman and Georgy Bovt informed journalists that they support the president’s modernization program.
“This party has no seats in the Russian parliament. There are some Pravoye Delo members in regional parliaments, but these people often hide the fact that they belong to it,” remarked Vladimir Pribylovsky, president of the Panorama think tank, to the Moscow News. The same news site acknowledges that, like just about every other party of “post”-perestroika Russia, including Sergei Mironov’s Just Russia and Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Pravoye Delo “has been formed with support of the Kremlin, which coordinated the appointment of its leaders.”
Since 2008, political analysts have speculated that Putin, who took up his old post of prime minister, is biding his time, waiting for Medvedev to complete his term as president, before reassuming this position for another eight years, that is, until 2020. They also observe that United Russia is little more than a parliamentary support group for Putin, lacking a durable popular base. By contrast, contends Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the CPRF “remains the best organized force and in polls usually scores second to the pro-Kremlin United Russia,” which itself was founded by “ex”-cadres of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union/Russian Federation.
According to a survey conducted by the Kremlin-friendly VtsIom polling agency, Medvedev would easily win re-election if it were held today, provided that Putin stayed out of the race. Other possible candidates, including Zyuganov, polled in the single digits, the telephone survey showed. Both Medvedev and Putin have declined to state publicly whether they will run in 2012. A separate survey on the public’s trust toward politicians had Putin topping Medvedev 48 to 42 percent.
It would appear, then, that if the Soviet strategists want to install an open communist in the Kremlin on the basis of a “free and fair” election, Zyuganov will have to move into the background, hiding behind a younger, “moderate,” EU-friendly frontman. However, the communist platform has changed little since Soviet times. According to RFE/RL, Zyuganov and his henchmen “call for mass nationalization, progressive income tax, and a state monopoly on alcohol production and sales.” Incidentally, Hugo Chavez is following Zyuganov’s script to a “T,” only in Venezuela, not Russia.
Meanwhile, in the former Soviet republic of Belarus, the communists are again throwing their name behind President Alexander Lukashenko’s re-election bid, to take place on December 19. Explains House of Representatives deputy Igor Karpenko:
The Communist Party calls upon Belarusians to vote for the candidature of Alexander Lukashenko and his policies. The country’s future largely depends on fulfilling civic responsibilities and the active participation in the vote.
Representatives of the CPB have joined the election campaign, during which they will carry out explanatory work among the population about the coincidence of the CPB’s main policies with the domestic and foreign policies pursued by current leadership of the country, for the benefit of an absolute majority of citizens.
The Communist Party of Belarus and the CPRF are united under an umbrella organization called the Union of Communist Parties-CPSU, which is based in all of the old Soviet republics and committed to restoring the Soviet Union from the ground up. Therefore, the UCP-CPSU, which Zyuganov has chaired since 2001, acts as a sort of placeholder for the old CPSU.
Lukashenko and Belarusian authorities are anxious to assure European Union counterparts that the presidential election will be “transparent,” even as they allege that the opposition intends to wage an armed insurgency after the election.
>WW4 File: Russia’s military on combat alert, monitoring Korean situation; NK FM in Moscow, justifies nuke deterrent; Japan deploys Patriots
December 14, 2010Posted by on
>Pictured here: Tourists look toward North Korea from an observation post, just south of the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas in Goseong, about 205 miles northeast of Seoul, on December 14, 2010. South Korea believes that the North has been secretly enriching uranium at new locations outside its main nuclear site.
– On Tuesday, Russian news agency Interfax quoted Russia’s top general, Nikolai Makarov, as saying about political tensions on the Korean Peninsula: “Without a doubt, we have taken measures to increase the combat-readiness of our forces. The [Russian] military is continuing to monitor the situation.” (source)
– Ten Japanese fighter jets intercept two Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers on December 14, as Russian aircraft completed 12-hour flight over Sea of Japan and Pacific Ocean. (source)
– Over the weekend, Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency, in a terse one-sentence news flash, reported that Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun had left for Russia. (source)
– NK FM boasts of Pyongyang’s nuclear deterrent in interview with Interfax: “We once again feel convinced that we have made the right choice in strengthening our defenses with the nuclear deterrent.”
– On Monday, in a meeting with Pak, Russian FM Sergei Lavrov condemns NK shelling of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island on November 23, killing four, including two marines.
– Under new defense policy guidelines, Tokyo plans to boost its deployment of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptor missiles at air bases to counter the threat of NK’s ballistic missiles. (source)
>Latin America File: Cuban FM wraps up trip to red regimes in San Salvador, Managua; Castro to visit El Salvador, Funes out of favor with FMLN leaders
December 11, 2010Posted by on
– US Embassy in San Salvador Assesses El Salvador’s Government as “Schizophrenic,” Predicts Open Break between Funes’ Moderate Camp and FMLN’s Party Leadership
Pictured above: El Salvador’s President Mauricio Funes shakes hands with Arturo Valenzuela, US Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, in San Salvador on December 8, 2010. Funes’ vice president and the leadership of the ruling FMLN are not so kindly disposed toward the USA.
The communist regimes in Havana and San Salvador are closing ranks since the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) won its first election last year, 17 years after the end of the Salvadoran Civil War. This past Monday, while visiting El Salvador, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez praised the importance of ties with the small Central American country. Rodriguez met deputies from the National Assembly’s commission on foreign affairs, with whom he discussed bilateral medical cooperation. In a move to ward off protests, he added that “This is by no means a political intervention. Medical cooperation is strictly humanitarian.”
For his part, Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez lauded the importance of Rodriguez’s visit, the first by a Cuban diplomat in the history of bilateral relations between the two countries. “It is proof of El Salvador’s maturity in diplomatic relations with Cuba,” Martinez gushed.
Rodriguez was not only slated to meet Martinez, but also the leadership of the FMLN, which includes Medardo Gonzalez, and Salvadoran Vice President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the FMLN’s former battlefield commander. During the Salvadoran Civil War, “doctrinaire Leninist” Sanchez acquired a reputation for ordering assassinations. Today, he is widely perceived among Salvadorans as the real ruler of the country. Indeed, cynical Salvadorans joke that he is only “nine millimeters” from the presidency, referring to the caliber of a certain bullet. Significantly, Sanchez dutifully present himself to his Cuban masters in December 2009, nearly a year before President Mauricio Funes made the same trek.
During his San Salvador stay-over, Rodriguez was scheduled to place flowers at the grave of Schafick Handal, formerly head of the Communist Party of El Salvador and later leader of the FMLN. The Cuban FM also paid tribute to Oscar Arnulfo Romero, the Catholic archbishop who opposed the military dictatorship and was assassinated in 1980. Finally, Rodriguez placed flowers at the Wall of Memory in Cuscatlan Park to remember the 75,000 victims of the civil war.
The Cuban FM is on a whirlwind tour of Latin America, having attended the 21st Ibero-American Summit in Argentina prior to showing up in San Salvador. Following his pep talks with the FMLN, Rodriguez then flew to Managua, where President Daniel Ortega is trying to implement martial law in an effort to subvert the 2011 elections and rebuild his Cold War-era dictatorship. Afterward, he was slated to depart to Cancun, where the previous mayor employed a Cuban assassin, to participate in the United Nations’ Climate Change Summit.
Reciprocating Funes’ pilgrimage to Cuba in October, dictator Raul Castro plans to visit El Salvador “as soon as the corresponding agreements are made through diplomatic channels.” This is an important development in view of the latest WikiLeak revelations, which expose the political chasm between El Salvador’s “moderate” president and the hard-core Marxists who run the FMLN.
Funes is a former CNN Espanol journalist who did not bear arms during the civil war and who did not join the FMLN until the presidential campaign in late 2008. He has distanced himself from Latin America’s hard-left leaders who have tense relations with the USA, such as Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa. Instead, he has embraced former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, another “moderate” center-leftist. Unlike Vice President Sanchez, who advocates El Salvador’s incorporation into the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas bloc of socialist nations, Funes has snubbed the idea.
By contrast, FMLN party leaders, states a February 23, 2010 cable from the US embassy in San Salvador, “have pushed him to strengthen ties with Venezuelan and Cuba while de-emphasizing the U.S. relationship.” Another message dated January 26 described El Salvador’s government as “schizophrenic.” Posted online by the Spanish newspaper El Pais, the earlier message continues: “The part of the government Funes controls is moderate, pragmatic, responsibly left-of-center and friendly to the [U.S. government]. The part he has ceded to hard-line elements of the … Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front … is seeking to carry out the Bolivarian Chavista game-plan, including implacable hostility toward the [U.S. government.]”
Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez downplayed the content of the Wikileak revelations, which have annoyed and outraged politicians around the world: “The subjective opinions of one official are not going to affect the strong and strategic relation we have with the United States. We think the issue is being given an importance that it doesn’t have.”
FMLN Lawmaker Benito Lara also insisted the party has a “good rapport” with Funes. “I have not heard the president express concern about the FMLN,” Lara opined. However, according to a report sent on August 21, 2009, one Funes ally told US embassy officials that the president “suspects hard-line FMLN elements are intercepting Funes’ and his inner circle’s telephone calls.” Another message that month claimed “hard-line FMLN members” orchestrated street protests against the construction of a hydroelectric dam advocated by Funes.
By last January, the US embassy, looking ahead to the 2012 legislative elections, warned: “If things continue to deteriorate, we could see an open break between the two sides.” The cable elaborated: “The FMLN response would be ugly – massive street protests, labor strikes, road blockages, threats of violence, legislative logjams – and paralyze some government operations and place a further drag on the struggling economy.”
>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Medvedev charms Warsaw as Russia arms Bulava SLBMs with “nuclear payloads,” deploys tactical nukes to NATO borders
December 10, 2010Posted by on
– Putin Promotes East-West Convergence (on Communist Terms), Russia’s Accession to Eurozone, World Trade Organization
Pictured above: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev takes part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Monument of Soviet Soldiers killed during World War II in Warsaw, on December 7, 2010.
A December 7 article from Novosti implies that the Russian Navy’s ballistic missile submarines are armed with nuclear warheads as they prowl under the world’s oceans. The Kremlin-run news source quoted the engineer who designed the new Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), Yuri Solomonov, as saying:
Nuclear warheads have been completed for Russia’s new Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile. The nuclear payload will have been completed by the time the missiles are installed in the carrier [submarine]. Four Bulava test launches will be carried out in the second half of December from the Borei-class nuclear-powered missile submarine Yury Dolgoruky.
Solomonov’s comments were originally published in the December 2010 issue of Russia’s Natsionalnaya Oborona (National Defense) journal. This is not a comforting thought, especially in view of the mystery missile launch off the coast of Los Angeles last month, which some have attributed to Red China, but which the Pentagon insists was not its own.
In a late-October test, a Bulava was successfully fired from the nuclear-powered Dmitry Donskoi submarine in the White Sea, hitting a target on a test range in Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, some 6,000 kilometers to the east. This was the second successful firing in a month, following several failures.
A Kremlin source explained that the second phase of Bulava tests will start at the end of May 2011, if the remaining launches in 2010 are a success. The Bulava (NATO designation SS-NX-30) SLBM carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The Russian Navy plans to deploy Bulava on modified Project 941 and the new Project 955 Borei-class submarines. The Russian military expects the Bulava, along with the Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile, to become the core of Russia’s nuclear triad.
Meanwhile, according to classified US intelligence, this past spring Russia deployed tactical nuclear warheads to sites near NATO countries, prompting concern that Moscow may not in fact be committed to a new strategic arms reduction treaty. Unnamed US officials, cited by the Wall Street Journal, “say the movement of warheads to facilities bordering NATO allies appeared to run counter to pledges made by Moscow starting in 1991 to pull tactical nuclear weapons back from frontier posts and to reduce their numbers.” According to the November 30 edition of WSJ:
The U.S. has long voiced concerns about Russia’s lack of transparency when it comes to its arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons, believed to be many times the number possessed by the U.S.
Russia’s movement of the ground-based tactical weapons appeared to coincide with the deployment of U.S. and NATO missile-defense installations in countries bordering Russia. Moscow has long considered the U.S. missile defense buildup in Europe a challenge to Russian power, underlining deep-seated mistrust between U.S. and Russian armed forces despite improved relations between political leaders.
The Kremlin had no immediate comment.
Republican critics in the US Senate opined that President Barack Hussein Obama was hasty in agreeing to a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia (New Start), without addressing outstanding questions about Moscow’s tactical nuclear weapons. “New Start,” explains WSJ, “would cap the Russian and U.S. deployed strategic nuclear arsenals at 1,550 per side. It doesn’t address tactical weapons, which are smaller and for use on a battlefield.” If you, like Obama, believe that the neo-Soviet leadership is committed to peace, then I have a tropical time-share in Novosibirsk to sell you.
In November, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis said he raised concerns about Russian tactical weapons with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and senior defense officials in Washington. “Being a NATO member, of course, someone could say, ‘Don’t worry,’” fretted Azubalis. “But when you’re living in the neighborhood, you should always be more cautious. American officials expressed worry but they also don’t know too much about where the weapons are and the conditions under which they are kept.”
Senator Christopher Bond (Republican-Missouri), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, refused to comment directly on the tactical nuke issue, but acknowledged that the Russians cannot be trusted to honor arms control promises. “We know from published reports of the State Department that the Russians have cheated on all their other treaties, Start, chemical weapons, [biological weapons], Open Skies,” Bond said. No kidding.
Mistrust, says WSJ, “runs deep” between Washington and Moscow. According to US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks, a February 2010 cable quoted Defense Secretary Robert Gates as telling a French official that Russia is an “oligarchy run by the security services.” Two senior Obama admin officials did not deny that the tactical nuke issue has arisen in private conversations between the White House and legislators. However, they insisted that the 1991 US-Soviet pledges, known as the Presidential Nuclear Initiatives, are “not legally binding on either side and were difficult to verify.” So what good are they? More fluff for public consumption.
In fall 1991, just before the implosion of the Soviet Union, Western estimates of the number of Moscow’s tactical nukes ranged from 12,000 to nearly 21,700. At a May 2005 conference, the Kremlin insisted that this arsenal “has been reduced by four times as compared to what the Soviet Union possessed in 1991,” and was “concentrated at central storage facilities….”
Even as they prepare for war against NATO, the Soviet strategists are carrying out their latest charm offensive along several fronts. This week, reports Voice of America, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev spearheaded that offensive by completing a two-day good will visit to Poland. In 1989 Warsaw was one of the first Eastern European countries to supposedly dump communism, although the Polish United Workers’ Party continues to exercise its baleful influence in Polish politics through the Democratic Left Alliance.
Medvedev, the first Russian president to visit Poland in eight years, signed a package of economic agreements with counterpart Bronislaw Komorowski and also discussed “sensitive issues” with Prime Minister Donald Tusk. One of the issues was the investigation into the April plane crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others, including Poland’s top generals, near the western Russian city of Smolensk.
Medvedev’s entourage was greeted by several dozen protesters holding posters that read “Smolensk: We Want the Truth.” As we have blogged before, some Polish rightists, especially those associated with the Law and Justice Party, believe the plane crash was orchestrated by the Kremlin.
However, Wojciech Borodzicz-Smolinski, who works for the Warsaw-based Center for International Relations, explains that the Smolensk crash actually improved relations between the two countries. He commented: “This significant change took place just after the Smolensk tragedy. We as Poles saw on TV the feelings that were shown by the Russian politicians and the Russians themselves, and that significantly changed the climate between our two countries.” According to Borodzicz-Smolinski, “feelings” trump the fact that the Russian and Belarusian armed forces carried out a mock nuclear attack against Poland in 2009.
Last month, Poland welcomed a declaration by the Russian State Duma, regarding the 1940 massacre of over 20,000 Polish officers in the forest of Katyn, to which President Kaczynski and his colleagues were heading. For the first time, Moscow officially admitted that the killings were carried out under the direct orders of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. At a press conference on Monday, Polish President Komorowski enthused: “The Duma’s declaration is very important. This is not only a new chapter in Polish-Russian relations, but a good chapter.”
For decades Russia claimed that the Nazis were responsible for the massacre. To this day, Gennady Zyuganov, chairman of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, maintains this stance.
Medvedev’s visit coincided with WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of US diplomatic cables, some of which reveal that NATO recently devised plans to defend Poland and the Baltic states from a possible Russian attack. Aggrieved, Russia responded that “NATO was wrong to think of it as an enemy.”
Another tactic in the Kremlin’s arsenal of lies is its professed commitment to dismantling its chemical weapons. According to state-run Voice of Russia, “The first unit of a new Russian chemical weapons disposal site has just been commissioned in the Bryansk region west of Moscow. The 15 billion ruble facility, built with some help from Germany and Switzerland outside the town of Pochep, is already the sixth such plant in Russia and the biggest in Europe.”
Approximately 19 percent of the chemical warfare agents left over from the Soviet Union, or 7,500 tons, are stored at the Pochep weapons depot. The first four bombs filled with chemical agents were destroyed on November 26. In accord with the Chemical Weapons Convention, enacted in 1997, all signatories must scrap their chemical stockpiles by 2012. The Bryansk facility is the latest of many similar facilities built in Russia in the past decade.
By pretending to be a lamb, when it is in fact a lion (or bear), the neo-Soviet leadership hopes to integrate Russia into both the European Union—a Kremlin-concocted plot from the beginning— and the World Trade Organization.
On November 26, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, while conferring with business leaders and counterpart Angela Merkel in Berlin, stated he was confident that Russia will one day join the Eurozone. Putin praised the measures taken by the European Central Bank to stabilize the euro and predicted that the sovereign debt crisis will be reversed. Lifting a page from the Soviet script for “neutralizing” Europe ahead of a communist-forced East-West merger, Putin trilled: “A rapprochement between Russia and Europe is inevitable, if we want to be successful and competitive. Can we assume that Russia together with Europe will one day be in a single currency zone? I can assume that.”
In the last section of his 1984 predictive work New Lies for Old, “The Final Phase,” KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn describes the above scenario, in which German capitulationism, especially, facilitates the Soviet takeover of Western Europe.
The previous day, local newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that Putin called for establishing a free trade zone between Russia and the European Union, a vision (not presently) espoused by the German government. Criticizing the dominance of the US dollar in the world economy, Putin also declared that Russia may join the WTO as early as 2011. “Not even the new single economic area that Russia is building together with Belarus and Kazakhstan will prevent this country form joining the WTO,” insisted Putin. Moscow has been pressing for WTO membership for 17 years.
Aside from a few petty differences, Putin and Merkel have much to talk about. Both spent time in Communist East Germany. In the 1980s, KGB agent Putin was stationed in Dresden, while Merkel was a secretary for “agitprop” in the ruling Socialist Unity Party’s youth section, Free German Youth.
Merkel’s father was a Lutheran clergyman who accepted a pastorate in the German Democratic Republic in the 1950s. One of Merkel’s biographers, a former colleague in the Christian Democratic Union, believes that Pastor Kasner had a “special understanding” with the red regime in East Berlin. In 1989, Angela joined the (communist-controlled) dissident group Democratic Awakening. However, Comrades Vladimir and Angela are good capitalists now.
>MISSILE DAY ALERT: Die Welt: Iran to deploy Shahab 3, Scud-B/C missiles at jointly manned base in Venezuela, many US cities vulnerable to attack
December 10, 2010Posted by on
According to the November 25, 2010 edition of Die Welt, citing Western intelligence sources, Iran is planning to place medium-range Shahab 3 missiles on Venezuelan soil. The German news source states that the agreement was signed between the two countries while Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez visited Tehran on October 19.
Die Welt contends that Venezuela’s communist dictator has agreed to allow Iran to establish a military base jointly manned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Venezuelan missile officers. Tehran has apparently given permission for the missiles to be used in case of “emergency.” In return, Venezuela can use the proposed missile base for “national needs,” greatly endangering neighboring Colombia. The German daily claims that Shahab 3 (range 1300-1500 km), Scud-B (285-330 km) and Scud-C (300, 500 and 700 km) will be deployed at the site.
“If a missile base can be opened in Venezuela,” warns Hudson New York Briefing Council, “many US cities will be able to be reached from there even with short-medium range missiles.” This news dovetails nicely with a recent post at the China Confidential blog, also citing Western intelligence sources, alleging that Iran and Venezuela plan to use northern Mexico as a platform to lob ballistic missiles at the USA.
What would US President Barack Hussein Obama do if this Iranian-Venezuelan plot comes to fruition? Not much. According to a Tweet by CBS reporter Mark Knoller, who covered Obama’s participation in last month’s NATO summit in Lisbon, Obama joked about diverting Air Force One to Caracas so he could visit Chavez. Upon learning of Obama’s wish, the Venezuelan president fired back: “We would sit down to talk, to eat socialist arepas.” Arepas is a corn-based pancake popular in that country.
Two years ago, a similar report surfaced concerning Iran’s deployment of missiles and troops in Eritrea, endangering Israel’s security.
>Neo-Sandinista File: Ortega swimming in drug money, WikiLeaks exposes financial umbilical cord to Chavez, Costa Rica closes embassy in Managua
December 8, 2010Posted by on
>– Cuban Foreign Minister Arrives in Nicaragua from El Salvador as Sandinistas Ram Martial Law Bills through National Assembly
– Ortega No-Show at Ibero-American Summit, Seeks Support from Unasur over Military Occupation of Costa Rican Island
– New York-Based Worker’s World Party Sides with Sandinistas in Border Row, Labels Costa Rican President Agent of “US Imperialism”
– UK Authorities Arrest Assange as (Ironically) Chavez and “Mini Me” Ally Correa Praise Whistleblowing Website Founder
Pictured above: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is welcomed by Nicaraguan counterpart Daniel Ortega at the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in Managua, on April 14, 2010.
The collusion between President Daniel Ortega and his interior minister Tomas Borge with Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was established in 1984 when a US government sting operation photographed the drug lord and Borge’s henchman Frederico Vaughan loading cocaine onto a C-123 in Managua. Ortega and Borge had extended safe haven to Escobar, who was eventually killed by Colombian police in 1993. The C-123’s pilot was CIA asset/DEA informant/businessman (smuggler) Barry Seal.
In October 1985, Seal testified before the President’s Commission on Organized Crime. A few months later, in February 1986, the Medellin cartel dispatched hitmen to assassinate Seal outside a Salvation Army halfway house in Baton Rouge. In March of that year, President Ronald Reagan, who was determined to solidify Congressional support for the Contras, displayed one of Seal’s sting photos on national television. No mention was made of Seal.
In November 1986 Reagan set up the Tower Commission to investigate (smother?) the Iran-Contra scandal and within several years the major players in the Contra training/supply operation–such as Oliver North and John Poindexter–either received pardons or their convictions were overturned. In early 1990, “Comandante” Ortega lost the presidential election and began 16 years of political hibernation, the Soviet Union collapsed on Christmas Day 1991, and the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front gave up its armed struggle in El Salvador in January 1992.
Communism, Americans were told, was dead. The US public forgot about Iran-Contra, the Sandinistas, the Salvadoran civil war, and the Soviet military buildup in Central America. The region’s communists, however, were merely biding their time before striking again, this time at the ballot box.
In 2006, Ortega was re-elected and appointed the aging Borge ambassador to Peru, home to a renewed Shining Path insurgency. In attendance at “Comandante’s” January 2007 inauguration was former Russian Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin, who promised to revitalize the Moscow-Managua Axis. Reports surfaced alleging, too, that communist dictator Hugo Chavez had financed Ortega’s comeback with PDVSA revenues. In 2009, the FMLN, carefully concealing its hard-core Leninist leadership behind a “moderate” frontman, won the general election and became El Salvador’s first leftist government. As with the Sandinistas, rumors abounded intimating that Chavez had financed the FMLN’s “peaceful” takeover of El Salvador.
Over the last four years we have endeavored to find hard evidence implicating the neo-Sandinista regime, like its predecessor in the 1980s, in the illicit drug trade. High-profile drug busts by the Nicaraguan army and police, and indignant rhetoric from President Ortega condemning other regional leaders for complicity in narco-trafficking imply Managua’s sincerity in cracking down on this scourge. However, the anarchic conditions that prevail in the “cocaine paradise” of Bluefields, a town on Nicaragua’s sparsely settled Caribbean coast, suggest that the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front has turned a blind eye to the flow of narcotics from South America to the USA.
Ironically, the Wikileaks scandal has provided this blog with the evidence needed to once again implicate the Sandinistas in the drug trade. Actually, Ortega’s chummy alliance with Chavez, whose top general Henry Rangel Silva is on the US Treasury Department’s “bad list,” suggested this nexus all along.
According to a US diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks and reprinted by Spain’s El Pais: “Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas have regularly received money to finance [his party] FSLN electoral campaigns from international drug traffickers, usually in return for ordering Sandinista judges to allow traffickers caught by the police and military to go free.” Another cable from the US embassy in Managua asserts that Nicaraguan officials returned from visits to Venezuela with “suitcases full of money”:
We have first-hand reports that [Nicaraguan] officials receive suitcases full of cash from Venezuelan officials during official trips to Caracas. Multiple contacts have told us that Daniel Ortega uses Venezuelan oil cash to fund the [ruling party’s] municipal election campaigns. Several unconfirmed reports indicate that Ortega will have as much as $500m at his disposal over the course of 2008.
The cables were written and sent months before the November 2008 municipal elections, in which the FSLN won sweeping victories, but later faced widespread fraud allegations. Reuters comments on the Wikileaks revelation: “The Nicaraguan and Venezuelan governments were not immediately available for comment.” I’ll bet.
In May 2006 former US ambassador to Nicaragua, Paul Trivelli, authored the following cable confirming the existence of the Reagan White House’s anti-Sandinista sting operation 20 years before:
In 1984, Daniel Ortega negotiated a deal with Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar whereby Escobar received refuge for several months in Nicaragua after he had ordered the killing of the Colombian minister of justice. In return, Mr Ortega and his party, the FSLN, received large cash payments from Pablo Escobar.
Interior Minister Tomas Borge and his subordinates went so far as to assist Escobar with the loading and unloading of drugs onto his airplanes in Nicaragua. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) managed to place a hidden camera on one of Escobar’s airplanes and obtained film of Escobar and Ministry of the Interior officials loading cocaine onto one of Escobar’s planes at Managua’s international airport.
But according to a 2010 cable allegedly dictated by Trivelli’s successor, Robert Callahan, Ortega’s alliance with Chavez could be “chilling” as the latter faces domestic challenges to his own presidency in 2012: “There are indications that the Ortega-Chavez revolutionary partnership may be suffering a cold snap. Over three years, Chavez has supplied Ortega with nearly a billion dollars in badly-needed ‘assistance,’ but Ortega’s constant need for operating cash to off-set forfeited donor assistance is likely now wearisome for Chavez, who faces growing domestic economic difficulties.”
Incidentally, British authorities have arrested the much-maligned founder of Wikileaks, Australian-born Julian Assange, on a European-wide warrant alleging he sexually assaulted two Swedish women. The Wikileaks scandal, which portends the online publication of tens of thousands of classified US diplomatic cables, has provoked official outrage worldwide and a bumper crop of conspiracy theories.
Among conspiratorially minded bloggers, the Wikileaks scandal has morphed into a government-ordered anti-freedom “psychological operation” (psyops). For example, rightist blogger J.N. Kish asserts that “fascist/communist elements” in the US government are using Assange’s transgressions as a pretext to shut down the Internet. At the other end of the political spectrum, leftist bloggers note that one of Assange’s female Swedish accusers is associated with anti-Castro CIA asset Luis Posada Carriles, a Bay of Pigs veteran who is awaiting trial on terrorism charges in the USA.
Among conspiratorially minded leftist politicians, Chavez and his Ecuadorean “mini me” Rafael Correa have lauded Assange for allegedly exposing the international machinations of the “US empire.”
Meanwhile, Ortega is using his manufactured border row with Costa Rica as a pretext to implement martial law, subvert the November 2011 elections, re-consolidate his Cold War-era communist dictatorship, and build a transoceanic canal with financing from Russia, Venezuela, and Iran. On December 7 the Cuban foreign minister arrived in Nicaragua from El Salvador even as the Sandinistas this week try to ram three bills granting Ortega and the military more power in states of emergency.
Since San Jose has the ear of the Organization of American States, which ordered Managua to remove its troops from Costa Rica’s Isla Calero, at the mouth of the San Juan River, Ortega has sought international support elsewhere. Last Thursday, Nicaragua’s Minister of Development Lumberto Campbell reported that he had a “fruitful exchange” with Guyanan President Bharrat Jagdeo, who is the new president pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations, an EU-style international organization founded in 2008. Nicaragua, of course, is in Central America, but the Sandinistas are ideologically aligned with the numerous leftist regimes that populate South America.
The neo-Sandinista regime certainly has no friends in Costa Rica, which closed its embassy in Managua on Monday. Nicaraguan Vice President Jaime Morales, a former Contra rebel, regretted the withdrawal of the Costa Rican diplomats, glibly remarking: “This does not help to solve the problem.” Morales also stated that he was “surprised” that Nicaraguan newspaper La Nacion quoted the Costa Rican president as saying that Nicaragua is an “enemy” country. “I found it strange that this newspaper said that Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla made these statements,” protested Morales.
On the sidelines of the 20th Ibero-American Summit in Mar de Plata, Argentina, this week Chinchilla had this to say about her conniving Nicaraguan counterpart:
What we did speak of, in that telephone conversation, is to agree to instruct our respective ambassadors at the OAS to seek a mutual out from the situation. The surprise came the following day when not only did we not have an agreement, but Nicaragua came up with a last minute document which was a travesty to our interests. That was the last time I spoke to him [Ortega] and from then on I did not want any conversations unless there were witnesses all around.
Chinchilla’s reference to a “last minute document” is the Nicaraguan government’s white paper, The Hidden Truths of Costa Rica, which smears San Jose’s squeaky-clean, army-less eco-tourism image. Ortega, reports Inside Costa Rica, was “conspicuously absent” from the Ibero-American meet-and-greet. Spain has offered to mediate the border row.
Into the Nicaragua-Costa Rica dispute has ventured the New York-based political entity known as the Worker’s World Party. Shilling for the Sandinistas, these US Stalinists gleefully point out: “Costa Rica’s government is aligned with U.S. imperialism. Nicaragua is a member of the Bolivarian Alliance for Our America or ALBA, which includes Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda. The U.S. State Department considers ALBA hostile to U.S. interests.”
After chronicling the main events of the Nicaraguan Civil War, the Workers’ World Party portrays Chinchilla as Washington’s lackey:
An OAS team flew over Calero Island on Nov. 8 and reported that neither the Nicaraguan flag nor its army was there. Nevertheless, the Chinchilla government continues the accusations.
It’s also still fanning the flames of racism and xenophobia against Nicaragua, and the half-million Nicaraguans living and working in wealthier Costa Rica face discrimination. However, Costa Rican groups, unions and political parties are not participating in this and are opposing their government’s actions.
According to the US Stalinists, Chinchilla’s greatest crime against the neo-Sandinista regime was to invite the US Navy into Costa Rican waters this past summer to interdict drug boats. “This has turned Costa Rica into a U.S. military base,” complains the Worker’s World Party, adding: “U.S. troops can move, armed to the teeth, throughout the whole country and enjoy the characteristic impunity to any of their crimes that accompanies these imperialist enforcers throughout the world. Their contract to patrol ends at the end of 2010, but there are many places the U.S. military, once in, has refused to leave.”
Like Latin America’s most strident leftist leaders—Chavez, Ortega, Correa, Raul Castro, and Evo Morales—the US Stalinists view the Washington-San Jose alliance as part of a wider “fascist” conspiracy against the region’s “progressive” governments: “This move into Costa Rica fits with the increased U.S. military role in Latin America, including the re-establishment of the Fourth Naval Fleet, the Pentagon’s deal to use seven military bases in Colombia, the occupation of Haiti, new bases in Panama, and an additional U.S. base in Honduras. It is part of Washington’s confrontation with the ALBA countries, including the recent coup attempt in Ecuador.”
>Buncha Commies Corner: Barista National Liberation Front seizes control of South American country, forces everyone to drink delicious organic coffee
December 5, 2010Posted by on
Comandante Juan Valdez has been appointed interim president. His donkey will be ambassador to Moscow. All Starbucks outlets will be nationalized and renamed the “People’s Coffee Collective.”
Julian Assange denies everything.
Pictured above: BSLN guerrillas launch final assault against capital’s trendiest “bourgeois” coffee house.
>WW4 File: North Korea bolsters forces near DMZ with 100 multiple-launch rockets and 200 tanks, new SK DM threatens air strikes
December 3, 2010Posted by on
>Pictured here: South Korean soldiers carrying boxes of food arrive on Yeonpyeong Island on Saturday, December 4, 2010.
– Kim Kwan-jin, South Korea’s Minister of National Defense-Designate, said yesterday that Seoul is prepared to launch air strikes and “punish the attacker thoroughly” should North Korea instigate further military provocations (source)
– A SK government source told the JoongAng Ilbo that the Korean People’s Army had recently augmented their forces along the Demilitarized Zone with 100 more multiple-launch rockets and 200 more tanks
>Mexican Narco-State File: UN climate summit kicks off in Cancun as police arrest heavily armed would-be kidnappers, authorities smother story
December 3, 2010Posted by on
>– WikiLeaks: President Calderon to US National Intelligence Director Blair: Links between Iran, Venezuela, Drug Trafficking, and Mexico’s Democratic Revolutionary Party (source)
– More than 100,000 Residents of Ciudad Juarez Flee Drug War, Seek Refuge in USA since 2008
– Narcistas Gun Down Their First Female Police Chief near Ciudad Juarez, Garcia in Post for 50 Days
– Mexico’s Men Cower as Housewives and Rookie Officer Step Forward to Fill Top Cop Roles in Chihuahua’s Embattled Police Departments
Mexico’s besieged authorities are worried that the country’s powerful drug cartels may disrupt the 12-day United Nations summit on climate change that kicked off in Cancun on Monday. The resort city on the Yucatan Peninsula, according to the Canadian media, has been “mostly immune” to the narco-insurgency in the northern and Pacific coast states. However, the recent explosion at a hotel in Playa del Carmen that killed five Canadians, prompting the opening of a homicide case; allegations that a former Cancun mayor with Cuban connections helped to protect two drug cartels; and the unearthing of 12 torture-and-murder victims in graves just outside Cancun this past summer have shaken up the region’s hospitality industry.
More troubling still, at least for the UN summit organizers, is a news story, first published on November 22, in which Mexican police arrested heavily armed men who had detailed plans of the security arrangements for the summit. Accompanying the plans were photographs of the Moon Palace Hotel, one of the conference venues, and lists of police and army checkpoints. The Mexican government later insisted that the reports were false, but this did not stop news agencies from “running” with the story.
Toronto-based terrorism expert Alan Bell commented: “It is especially important in a country where crime is outpacing the government’s ability to react and respond to it. Delegates attending the Cancun summit are potential targets for extremists and narco-terrorists.” Pointing to the type of mass disobedience that occurred at the recent G20 summit in Toronto, Bell wondered how Mexico would handle such a threat.
Meanwhile, this week narcistas gunned down two police chiefs, including Alvaro Gilberto Torres Ramirez, head of the Ciudad Juarez police department, and Hermila Garcia Quinones, head of the Meoqui police department in Chihuahua state. Both Torres, who was killed on Wednesday, and Garcia, who was killed on Monday, were ambushed in their personal vehicles.
Garcia held her position for only 50 days and had received no previous death threats. She is one of many brave women in Chihuahua, including two housewives, who have stepped forward in recent months to assume police posts that many men are too scared to occupy. In October, a 20-year-old male cadet was the only candidate for police chief of Praxedis G. Guerrero, near Ciudad Juarez.
The body count in Mexico’s drug war grew elsewhere too. On a ranch near the town of Palomas, in the same state and across the border from Big Bend National Park in Texas, soldiers unearthed 20 bodies, one of which was identified as a US citizen. The discovery came only hours after Garcia’s assassination. It was not immediately clear when the killings took place.
Since the summer, when police arrested Texas-born Edgar (“La Barbie”) Valdez Villarreal, alleged boss of the Beltran Leyva cartel, now awaiting extradition to the USA, Mexican authorities have scored several such victories. Several weeks ago, authorities nabbed Carlos Montemayor, Valdez’s replacement.
On November 22, police surrounded a house in Morelia, capital of Michoacan state, and arrested Jose Alfredo Landa, alleged boss of La Familia cartel, the country’s main trafficker of methamphetamine. In 2006, La Familia made headlines by rolling severed heads into a discotheque in the city of Uruapan and, in June 2010, by ambushing and killing 12 federal police.
On December 1, federal police captured Eduardo Ramirez Valencia, a regional boss of Los Zetas, which is vying with the Gulf cartel to control the state of Tamaulipas (pictured above). According to regional security chief Luis Cardenas, Ramirez collaborated with Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, alleged leader of the Zetas, by handling smuggling operations between Panama and the Dominican Republic.
Mexico’s drug war has led to the long-feared tragedy and crisis of refugees, some fleeing northward to the USA, others internally displaced. In Ciudad Juarez, more than 5,000 families have abandoned their homes in the last six months, bringing to a total of 230,000 the number of residents who have fled the border city since 2008. The independent Safety and Civic Coexistence Observatory estimates that more than one half of these refugees have sought refuge in the USA. Ciudad Juarez, which is located across the border from El Paso, Texas, suffers an average of eight murders a day and has registered 2,700 murders this year and nearly 8,000 homicides since the beginning of 2008.
The teachers and administrators of Ciudad Juarez’s schools also live in fear of the mafias, especially since a series of graffiti messages appeared on school walls, threatening attacks if teachers do not hand over their Christmas bonuses. Chihuahua state Governor Cesar Duarte traveled to Juarez to speak out against the threats. “We could not ever allow what is being signaled, even with the severity of the security crisis, but an attempt is being made to destroy the integrity and the tranquility of the teachers, the principals, the parents and the children,” he said. “To the criminals we say that whoever dares to extort will face life imprisonment.”
Large northern cities like Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, and Reynosa have suffered a total or near-total breakdown in law and order. The Gulf cartel and the Zetas are presently fighting for control of Mexico’s third-largest and wealthiest city, Monterrey. “The deterioration happened nearly overnight,” explains the AP news agency, “laying bare issues that plague the entire country–a lack of credible policing and the Mexican habit of looking the other way at the drug trade as long as it was orderly and peaceful.” Last week, the Mexican government announced that it would increase the army presence in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, home to Monterrey.
“When warfare erupted between the Gulf cartel and the Zetas,” explains US ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual, “there was no viable law enforcement [in Monterrey] to counter the onslaught. The Zetas control the local police.” Other police forces aligned with the Gulf cartel in the turf war. Nearly one half of the 750 police officers in Monterrey have been fired on suspicion of links to organized crime. “Rather than becoming part of the solution, they [the police] become part of the problem,” Pascual said.
In Monterrey more than 500 people died in drug violence during the first 10 months of 2010, compared to 56 slayings for all of 2009. Daily routines are frequently interrupted by carjackings and narcobloqueos, in which narco-traffickers block roads with stolen vehicles to hold off police and soldiers while the cartels conduct “transactions.”
In March, two students at the prestigious Monterrey Tech University died when they were caught in a gunfight between soldiers and gunmen near the campus. Five months later, the US State Department ordered diplomats to remove their children from the area after a shooting outside the American Foundation School, a private school attended by many US children and the children of Monterrey’s wealthiest families.
With the promise of regular military patrols, the residents of Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas, have begun to cautiously return to their bullet-scarred homes, and re-open schools and businesses. Nine months of gun battles between the Gulf cartel and the Zetas forced most of the city’s 6,000 inhabitants to flee to Mexico’s first shelter for drug war refugees, in neighboring Miguel Aleman.
Joint US-Mexican efforts to halt cross-border narco-trafficking led to a small victory last Thursday when police from both countries discovered a nearly half-mile long drug tunnel and seized over 20 tons of marijuana. The tunnel had two entrances on the US side, some 800 feet apart in the Otay Mesa industrial complex in southern San Diego, where another major tunnel was found on November 4.
The southern end of the tunnel, which was almost 40 feet underground, emerged in Tijuana, inside a residence outfitted with a garage large enough to handle deliveries by tractor trailer truck. The newly discovered tunnel was equipped with “advanced rail, electrical and ventilation systems,” US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a statement.
At least eight people were arrested, including three in the USA. “This discovery again shows the cartels’ growing desperation in the face of beefed up border security and the costly extremes these organizations are trying,” remarked the chief US investigator in this case, Miguel Unzueta. US officials explained the tunnel was located after ICE investigators grew suspicious about a tractor trailer parked near an Otay Mesa warehouse. After stopping and searching the truck, they discovered some 27,600 pounds of marijuana on board. A similar set of circumstances led to the finding and closure of the previous drug tunnel.
Since the beginning of 2010, authorities have found a dozen tunnels used for drug and immigrant smuggling near San Diego-Tijuana, the busiest crossing along the US-Mexican border. In past years, the US Border Patrol and security experts have noted that international terrorists could readily use drug/human smuggling tunnels as conduits to secrete weapons of mass destruction into the USA. The lawless states of northern Mexico, some of which have coastal access, like Tamaulipas and Sinaloa, make this a particularly acute threat.
>Neo-Sandinista File: Ortega to implement martial law, emergency powers; army commander denounces Honduran-Colombian-Costa Rican “conspiracy”
December 2, 2010Posted by on
– Nicaragua and Costa Rica Trade Accusations of Aggression, Environmental Damage in Formal “White Papers”
– President Chinchilla Backtracks on Promise to OAS, Sends National Police Back to Disputed Border, Urges Costa Ricans to Enlist in Armed Forces Reserves
Pictured above: Ortega addresses troops during Soldado de la Patria (Motherland Soldier), an anniversary event for the Nicaraguan Army.
It is clear that Daniel Ortega has no intention of allowing his tyrannical ambitions to be challenged, even if it is at the expense of the security of the people of Nicaragua and the stability of their democracy.
— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, US Congresswoman (Republican-Florida), statement made in April 2010
And, so, while the shopping mall regime naively believes Ronald Reagan made Central America safe for democracy 20 years ago, according to the Dutch media, “President Daniel Ortega has asked Nicaraguan lawmakers to pass emergency laws to give him greater power to mobilize troops, amid a surge in tensions over a border row with Costa Rica.” Knowing fully that the 1995 constitution prevents him from running for re-election next year, KGB asset Ortega is using every trick in the communist playbook to re-consolidate his dictatorship.
On Tuesday afternoon, with less than three days left before Nicaragua’s National Assembly breaks for a year-end recess, reports the Tico Times, President Daniel Ortega submitted three bills requiring urgent approval. The three bills, titled “National Defense Law,” “National Security Law,” and “Border Law” seek to expand the government’s military powers in times of “national emergency.” In addition to new defense and security measures, the bills place restrictions on property rights.
In a telephone interview, Jose Pallais, opposition legislator and president of the National Assembly’s Judicial Affairs Commission, asserted: “These bills give the impression that Ortega is preparing for war. Instead of creating the image of a civil country, these initiatives give the image of a warmongering country. This is very dangerous.” The “Border Law” bill specifically designates all land within 15 kilometers of international borders “national territory” in cases requiring “special treatment for the protection of the environment, culture and socioeconomic development.”
“This could be used to appropriate land,” predicted Pallais, who acknowledged that other countries have land-use restrictions along borders, but insisted that 15 kilometers was “disproportionately large.” He concluded that the Border Law bill “could be interpreted as an effort to establish the legal foundation needed to appropriate land around the San Juan River for whatever project the government might be secretly planning in the zone.”
Last week, Ortega admitted that his government intends to build a transoceanic canal, a prospect that led to the US invasion of Nicaragua in 1912 and a subsequent 21-year occupation that was challenged by guerrilla leader Augusto Sandino. The fact that several weeks ago, too, Costa Rican authorities arrested 86 Nicaraguans fleeing army enlistment lends some credence to the above reports.
More ominously, the provisions of the “National Defense Law” bill hearken back to the state of emergency by which the Sandinista National Liberation Front suppressed “counter-revolutionaries” and “Somozistas” between 1982 and 1988. Article 22 of the proposed bill reads:
When the president of the republic and council of ministers decree a state of emergency for reasons of conflict or public calamity and order the mobilization of forces, means and public goods, the institutions and regional and municipal governments, as well as their public employees, will become part of the utility for defense of the supreme interests and strategic national objectives, and by express orders of the president of the republic will be under the control of the National Army for the amount of time that the state of emergency lasts.
Former president Arnoldo Aleman, who cut a sordid political deal with Ortega in 1999 called “El Pacto,” commented: “It appears that Ortega is trying to reestablish the state security and mandatory military service that existed during the leftist Sandinista revolutionary government he led from 1979 to 1990.”
On a technicality, opposition lawmakers were able to postpone the vote on Ortega’s rush legislation until Monday, December 6, but the FSLN commands a slim majority in the National Assembly. Therefore, it is expected that the bills will pass both the first and second readings, which will likely take place on the same day.
Meanwhile, Nicaragua’s top general, Julio Aviles Castillo, a former Sandinista guerrilla, has painted a black portrait in which his country is the victim of an international conspiracy masterminded by the governments of Honduras, Costa Rica, and Colombia. The object of these “expansionist interests” is to seize Nicaraguan territory, especially along the San Juan River. Aviles, in the company of the Nicaraguan president, delivered his comments during the commemoration ceremony of the Soldado de la Patria (Motherland Soldier).
At this time, Aviles put in a plug for Ortega’s 76-page white paper “exposing” Costa Rica’s fabrications in the border row, Truths Hidden by Costa Rica. Among other remarks, he also condemned Honduras’ security minister, Oscar Alvarez, for alleging that Nicaragua is training and arming 3,000 guerrillas to overthrow President Porfirio Lobo Sosa and re-install Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted in a military-backed parliamentary coup in 2009.
Costa Rica has responded with its own counter-propaganda by releasing La verdad sobre la incursión, ocupación, uso y daños del territorio costarricense por parte de Nicaragua. At an event marking the country’s 62 years without an armed forces, President Laura Chinchilla, contrary to promises made to the Organization of American States, announced that she would be sending the national police back to the disputed border, urged Costa Ricans to join the armed forces reserves, and requested that the Public Security Ministry “accelerate” the training of border police.
>WW4 File: SK, USA to hold more naval exercises in Dec., US Navy requests transfer of 30,000 tons of jet fuel from Japan to SK
December 1, 2010Posted by on
– South Korean intelligence chief warns “high possibility” North will attack South again (source)
– USA and SK plan more military drills for December after current naval exercise wraps up on Wednesday (source)
– SK to conduct week-long live-fire naval drills at multiple locations around the country (source)
– USA and Japan to hold joint naval maneuvers between December 3 and 10, Tokyo facing renewed territorial disputes with Russia and Red China (source)
– US Navy requests transfer of 30,000 tons of jet fuel from Japan to SK, Pentagon insists request is “routine” (source)
– The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson begins a scheduled seven-month deployment to the western Pacific and Persian Gulf regions (source)